State v. Haldiman, No. WD 61019.

CourtCourt of Appeal of Missouri (US)
Writing for the CourtRobert Ulrich
Citation106 S.W.3d 529
PartiesSTATE of Missouri, Respondent, v. James E. HALDIMAN, Appellant.
Decision Date06 May 2003
Docket NumberNo. WD 61019.
106 S.W.3d 529
STATE of Missouri, Respondent,
v.
James E. HALDIMAN, Appellant.
No. WD 61019.
Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District.
May 6, 2003.

Page 530

COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED

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N. Scott Rosenblum, Douglas P. Roller, Clayton, MO, for Appellant.

Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon, Atty. Gen., John M. Morris, III, Linda Lemke, Jefferson City, MO, for Respondent.

Before THOMAS H. NEWTON, P.J., ROBERT G. ULRICH and EDWIN H. SMITH, JJ.

ROBERT ULRICH, Judge.


James E. Haldiman ("Mr. Haldiman") was convicted of possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, section 195.202, RSMo 2000, and sentenced to seven years imprisonment. He does not dispute the sufficiency of the evidence. He makes two claims on appeal, however. Mr. Haldiman asserts that the trial court erred in (1) denying his motion to suppress and admitting at trial the methamphetamine seized from his person during a patdown search conducted when he was stopped for a traffic violation that had concluded before the search, and (2) admitting the laboratory report under the business records exception to the hearsay rule identifying the substance seized from Mr. Haldiman as methamphetamine because the State failed to establish sufficient trustworthiness of the test results. The judgment of the trial court is reversed.

Factual and Procedural History

While Highway Patrol Trooper Lance MacLaughlin ("Trooper MacLaughlin") was on duty on February 6, 1998, he received a radio communication from troop headquarters that a gray Camaro traveling eastbound on 1-70 from Higginsville in Lafayette County was transporting contraband drugs. Nothing in the record indicates that the information came from any source other than an anonymous tip. Trooper MacLaughlin was provided the license plate number of the vehicle. He parked in the median strip of 1-70 and watched the eastbound traffic until he observed the vehicle pass him. Trooper MacLaughlin then followed the vehicle for about four miles. While following the vehicle, the trooper observed it veer off the highway onto the shoulder twice. Activating part of the emergency warning devices on the patrol car, he caused the driver of the vehicle to drive to the side of the highway and stop. Trooper MacLaughlin asked the driver, later identified as Mr. Haldiman, to accompany him to the patrol car while he checked the appropriate database regarding his license plate and issued the traffic citation. Mr. Haldiman sat in the patrol car passenger seat as Trooper MacLauglin sat in the driver's seat.

Toward the end of drafting the traffic citation, Trooper MacLaughlin asked Mr. Haldiman if any weapons, illegal narcotics, or stolen property were in the vehicle he had driven. Mr. Haldiman answered in the negative. Trooper MacLaughlin asked

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for and obtained Mr. Haldiman's consent to search the vehicle. He then radioed for backup. When the backup arrived, Trooper MacLaughlin asked Mr. Haldiman to stand outside the patrol car, and he complied. Trooper MacLaughlin then performed a pat-down search. Mr. Haldiman was wearing stiff cowboy boots and the trooper lifted the bottom of Mr. Haldiman's jeans to facilitate his viewing inside the boots. He first used a flashlight to look into the right boot and finding nothing he attempted to look into the left boot. Mr. Haldiman cocked his left leg in such a way that the trooper could not see into the boot. Trooper MacLaughlin asked Mr. Haldiman to straighten his left leg, and when he did so, the trooper observed a plastic bag containing a golf-ball amount of a brown powdery substance.

Trooper MacLaughlin seized the plastic bag, which contained another bag of pinkish-brown material. The substances seized were eventually analyzed by laboratory personnel. Both bags contained methamphetamine, with the larger plastic bag containing 14.26 grams, and the smaller bag containing 0.72 grams.

Mr. Haldiman did not take the stand at trial. He was found guilty of the charge, and the court entered its judgment of conviction, sentencing him to seven years as recommended by the jury. This appeal followed.

Issues on Appeal

Mr. Haldiman raises two issues on appeal. He claims that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress and admitting at trial the methamphetamine seized from inside his boot because the seizure of the contraband occurred during a pat-down search following a traffic stop and prior to a consensual search of his vehicle. He argues the search of his person was unlawful in that the traffic stop had concluded and Trooper MacLaughlin did not have specific and articulable facts to reasonably warrant a belief that Mr. Haldiman presented a risk to his safety, and, at the time of the search, the encounter had become consensual and was not the result of an investigative stop. He further contends that the seizure of the alleged methamphetamine was unlawful in that Trooper MacLaughlin exceeded the scope of the pat-down search by pulling up his pants leg and inspecting inside his boot when no object that could be a weapon was felt through the pat-down of his outer clothing. In his second point on appeal, Mr. Haldiman claims that the trial court erred in admitting the laboratory report under the business records exception of the hearsay rule identifying the substances seized from him as methamphetamine because the testimony of the supervisor of the chemist who actually performed the analysis did not and could not establish the trustworthiness of the test results because the underlying data and conclusions were not known to him and were based upon his subjective interpretation of the underlying test data and, finally, that the evidence did not establish the equipment utilized to test the substance was in proper working order when two tests of the content of one of the substances seized yielded different results.

Standard of Review

The State bears the burden of showing by a preponderance of the evidence that a motion to suppress should be denied. State v. Heyer, 962 S.W.2d 401, 405 (Mo.App. E.D.1998) (citing State v. Hoopingarner, 845 S.W.2d 89, 92 (Mo.App. E.D.1993)). Appellate review of a trial court's decision regarding a motion to suppress evidence "is limited to a determination of whether there is substantial evidence to support its decision." State v. West, 58 S.W.3d 563, 567 (Mo.App. W.D.

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2001) (quoting State v. Tackett, 12 S.W.3d 332, 336 (Mo.App. W.D.2000)). The trial court's ruling on a motion to suppress evidence will be reversed only if it is clearly erroneous and the appellate court is left with a definite and firm belief a mistake has been made. State v. Leavitt, 993 S.W.2d 557, 560 (Mo.App. W.D.1999). All evidence and any reasonable inferences therefrom will be viewed in the light most favorable to the trial court's ruling. Tackett, 12 S.W.3d at 336. When reviewing a trial court's ruling on a motion to suppress, the record made at the suppression hearing as well as the...

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7 practice notes
  • State v. Abeln, No. WD 62180.
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • May 11, 2004
    ...an appellate court will not reverse, even if convinced that it would have weighed the evidence differently." State v. Haldiman, 106 S.W.3d 529, 533 (Mo.App. W.D.2003) (citing State v. Milliorn, 794 S.W.2d 181, 184 (Mo. banc Where, as here, "the parties have not requested findings ......
  • State v. Smith, No. SC 97811
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • January 14, 2020
    ...stopped a car after he "observed it veer off the highway onto the shoulder" and issued a traffic citation for that violation. 106 S.W.3d 529, 531 (Mo. App. W.D. 2003). In State v. Belton , the court of appeals did not question the validity of a stop based on observed fog line viol......
  • State v. Holman, No. SC 95613
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • December 6, 2016
    ...and firm belief a mistake has been made." State v. Bell , 488 S.W.3d 228, 238 (Mo. App. E.D. 2016) (quoting State v. Haldiman , 106 S.W.3d 529, 533 (Mo. App. W.D. 2003) ). Whether conduct violates the Fifth Amendment is a question of law that this Court reviews de novo . State v. Lamme......
  • State v. Birmingham, No. 25610.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • April 30, 2004
    ...to suppress, the appellate court considers the record made at the pretrial hearing as well as the trial testimony. State v. Haldiman, 106 S.W.3d 529, 533[4] (Mo.App.2003). "In so reviewing, we view the facts in the light most favorable to the order challenged on appeal." Bradshaw,......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
7 cases
  • State v. Abeln, No. WD 62180.
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • May 11, 2004
    ...an appellate court will not reverse, even if convinced that it would have weighed the evidence differently." State v. Haldiman, 106 S.W.3d 529, 533 (Mo.App. W.D.2003) (citing State v. Milliorn, 794 S.W.2d 181, 184 (Mo. banc Where, as here, "the parties have not requested findings ......
  • State v. Smith, No. SC 97811
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • January 14, 2020
    ...stopped a car after he "observed it veer off the highway onto the shoulder" and issued a traffic citation for that violation. 106 S.W.3d 529, 531 (Mo. App. W.D. 2003). In State v. Belton , the court of appeals did not question the validity of a stop based on observed fog line viol......
  • State v. Holman, No. SC 95613
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • December 6, 2016
    ...and firm belief a mistake has been made." State v. Bell , 488 S.W.3d 228, 238 (Mo. App. E.D. 2016) (quoting State v. Haldiman , 106 S.W.3d 529, 533 (Mo. App. W.D. 2003) ). Whether conduct violates the Fifth Amendment is a question of law that this Court reviews de novo . State v. Lamme......
  • State v. Birmingham, No. 25610.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • April 30, 2004
    ...to suppress, the appellate court considers the record made at the pretrial hearing as well as the trial testimony. State v. Haldiman, 106 S.W.3d 529, 533[4] (Mo.App.2003). "In so reviewing, we view the facts in the light most favorable to the order challenged on appeal." Bradshaw,......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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